Tag Archive for weight loss

Trying something new – YouTube video talking about my plans to get my diet, weight and running back on track.

Hi everyone!

Just a short post today to provide a link to a YouTube video I have put up talking about my thoughts and plans to get my weight back under control as well as my thoughts for upcoming races.

The video was taken on July 3rd, 2017 (posted on July 28th) so I have been using the fridge I mention for a while and it does seem to be helping. I have definitely saved enough from skipping fast food meals to have paid for the fridge!

So this is about 3 weeks I have had the fridge (and I was out of the office on vacation for one of them) so I am still in the beginning stages but I am starting to feel better as I detox away from so much fast food.

Having wraps that I make at lunch (and during breaks) is definitely helping keep the food tasting fresh and I am mixing things up with sometimes having mustard for extra flavour and sometimes using just a touch of lime juice (lime works better for turkey than it does for ham…).

I am definitely happy with the purchase and I am showing positive results so far using it.

Any feedback on the video is appreciated as I try to decide if I want to keep doing these kinds of vlog posts or not.

Have a good weekend!

4 miles for day 7 of 2016 run streak – puts me at just under 34 miles in. Off to a good start.

Seven days into 2016 and I am seven days into the run streak (technically eight since I ran on Dec 31st…) and I am 33.98 miles into it. Considering I ran a grand total of 36.6 through December 2015 – I would say I am off to a pretty good start.

Current daily average is sitting at 4.85 miles which I am happy with – by late spring I would like to be back up to pulling off the occasional 50 mile week though.

Overall I am feeling pretty good. My legs are tired but right now I am letting how they feel dictate how fast I am running and that seems to be preventing injury or burn out – and all things considered the speed isn’t too awful. I still have a lot of work to do there but I am still capable of good bursts so I am feeling pretty positive I will get that back.

So far the runs have broken down to about 2/3rds of the miles on the treadmill and the other 1/3rd was done outside. As I ramp up longer runs outside I suspect this should get closer to half and half.

Even though I am tired I do feel more energized overall so I am feeling pretty good about this run streak experiment at this point. It is still early stages but I am motivated and that is a nice change of pace compared to a good chunk of last year.

I’ve seen a slight improvement in my weight as well as I kick my metabolism back up (and watch what I am eating better) – there is still a fair bit of work to do there as well an improvement is an improvement.

Tomorrow should be a 1 mile rest day and then some decent outside mileage outside over the weekend. The weather is supposed to get quite cold again though so I might be spending more time with my dear friend the treadmill for a while!

My initial thoughts for 2016 – run streak and a shot at Goofy Challenge 2017?

So I have been thinking for a while about what my goals and plans for 2016 should be. While I did have some great events, overall my running did not go very well in 2015. My mileage and speed are way down and the weight I previously lost is coming too far back – not good things.

I had indicated at the start of last year that I wanted to back off a bit because I felt I was putting too much time into the running and maybe falling down in other areas – family, hobbies, etc.

But the way I backed off wasn’t the way I would have wanted it to happen. There were some legitimate illness and injuries that had an impact but a big part of the issue was a loss of motivation and energy. Running used to be a habit but that fell off – meaning that I used to run out of habit even if I was tired or not motivated and I have lost that.

So that is the first thing I need to fix this year and to do that I am going to run streak.

Now I have tried run streaking before and it did not go well. But I did it differently during that attempt than what I plan to do it this time. When I did it before, I did it including double run days – I would do my normal 5 days a week training plan but would also add in a couple mile morning run every day before work – giving me up to 10 runs in a week. I did not adapt to the change in the sleep cycle well and I maybe lasted 9 or 10 days before I fell apart on a 2 mile run.

So I won’t do it that way this time. Instead I will ramp up to doing the 5 days a week run schedule and will do a single mile on the rest days. I am hoping this will get me to the point where, even if I am tired or unmotivated, I will run no matter what.

How long a streak though? It is a leap year and I love the idea of run streaking the whole 366 days. Granted I also ran Dec 31st so it would be 367 days. That is a bit of a daunting task considering how little I have been running, so I will start with setting the first goal as run streaking January. Once that is achieved I will break it down to run streak each month until the year is done.

That should make take care of getting back in the habit of running all the time, but how do I get myself back into running long distances? I did pull off 50+ miles in the 12 Hour Lemming Loop back in early October but that was more about experience and shear pig-headedness than about any sort of conditioning really. As I think about it, about the only thing that has made me truly commit to training has been the Goofy Challenge and the Dopey Challenge. So I am going to lay it out there that I am going to train to do the Goofy Challenge in January 2017. I don’t know yet if I can make that work financially but I am going to mentally commit to it – I have done 5 and want to do a 6th. That means everything I do through 2016 is going to be as part of a training plan for January 2017. Usually a marathon training plan comes in around 18 weeks but I am giving myself 50+ weeks so I will need to have several milestone races / runs along the way that will break the period down into more manageable chunks.

I don’t have that fully worked out yet but I have a few races running through my mind:

  1. Hypothermic Half marathon on Feb 21st – this one probably won’t work as we are vacation until the 20th and I don’t know if I would be able to hit package pickup or not. I will be investigating further.
  2. WPS Half marathon on May 1st – this race is where I hold my half PR (1:46:00 – 2014) but was about 10 minutes slower in 2015 due to illness. I will be looking for redemption on this race – maybe not a PR but back to sub 1:50 would be the goal) This means lots of speed work through March and April.
  3. Spruce Woods Ultra marathon event – the weekend after the WPS Half marathon – they trail marathon, 50k, 50 mile, 100k and 100 mile options all with decently generous time limits – so maybe, just maybe I might do something that will scare the hell out me here…
  4. Fargo Marathon – May 21st – just a bit of a drive away from Winnipeg but it is a flat course and the weather seems to average better than the Manitoba Marathon a month later which is a positive for someone coming off of several months of winter running. This one gives me a better shot at getting back to the low 4 hour range, possibly even PR or finally breaking below 4 hours.
  5. Manitoba Marathon – June 19 – If I have been training well and consistently at this point then hammering out a new full marathon PR would be the goal (currently 4:09:44 in 2014) – my marathon PR is for this race but my history with the weather on this one is not great (I have a tendency to get spanked by the heat or drenched).
  6. Treherne Marathon – Sept 11 – I haven’t done this one before and it is only a bit of a drive from home. It is done mostly on back country unpaved roads and I have, up to this point, ruled out doing this race because I keep getting an image of it raining and making the roads a mess. But this one may help me stay motivated through the summer.
  7. Fort Garry Rotary Half Marathon – not sure the date yet but is usually a couple weeks after Treherne Marathon. This can be a good race to show off summer conditioning as we head into the fall.
  8. Lemming Loop – Sept 30 / Oct 1 – I have done the 12 hour event 2 years in a row and I am thinking of doing the unthinkable and moving up to the 24 hour event.
  9. WFPS Half Marathon – October 16 – only a couple weeks after the 12 or 24 hour Lemming Loop and I could be exhausted for this race. But I have done this one several years in a row and it is a tradition at this point.
  10. Wine and Dine Half Marathon – my wife and I thought about doing this one for our 10th anniversary last year but it didn’t work out. So maybe this year as a couple’s trip?

So I don’t know what I will do for sure but those are the races I am currently pondering.

One other major motivation idea I am looking at is tracking my yearly mileage as the miles I would need to get to Disney World from my house. Google Maps lists this as 1928.75 miles – I did 1971 in 2014 so it is possible. I will call this personal mission the “Run to the Goofy Challenge”. The bonus with this challenge is that if I start seeing myself getting close to that number later in the year it might drive me to go further – maybe beat the 1971 to have my highest mileage year ever or maybe even beat 2000 or 2016 miles?

To ensure I hit any of these milestones I will definitely need to tackle the sleep and weight issues I have been having but I have done it before and can do it again.

Basically I will need to break things down into more manageable chunks with sub goals to achieve and celebrate along the way. I’m not exactly sure what that looks like yet but I know I will have the ramp the mileage up slowly as I try to rebuild – so January won’t be 200 miles but maybe closer to the 130-150 range, but by the end of the year I should be hitting 200 mile months at least a few times.

A slow, strong, steady progression is key here.

Lots of work to do – but I will make sure to blog about it more frequently to help keep me honest and motivated.

Cheers to strong 2016!

WPS Half Marathon – 1:55:15 official – all things considered I can accept that and will now focus on getting back to where I was.

Ok – so let’s start off with a big thanks to the organizers and volunteers – the WPS Half marathon is consistently well run and the volunteers are always great. I have done 4 in total (last 3 in a row) and each time I have been impressed. Thanks again!

So how did the event and run go for me?

The day definitely started out different for me than most race days. This is the first real race I have done since we got the pups and I didn’t factor in time to get them out before I headed out so I was a bit rushed. But I gave myself plenty of time to get to the race and get parked and settled so it wasn’t an issue but did require some juggling that I will need to remember for future races!

The race this year had a different start location than previous years – still in the same park but in a different area of the park. Parking ended up being further away from the start line than before so more walking was definitely required but being used to the long walks needed for runDisney Disney World races the walking didn’t bug me. I did give directions to one runner though who didn’t know the park well – the start line is not visible from most of the parking so more signage might have been helpful there.

Weather was beautiful – definitely shorts and short sleeves weather for us northern runners. Sun was up and the sky was clear.

I got in the start corral, absorbed the sunlight and tried to figure out what my game plan was. Anyone reading the blog probably realizes I was quite ill for most of the first part of April and my training plan fell apart quite significantly. I have been able to put in some decent shorter runs in the 5 mile range since then but I haven’t done double digit mileage runs since March. So I knew I was going to have issues with the speed + endurance combined that is needed for a half marathon. I knew that my PR of 1:46 was not going to fall today and I figured I needed to be under 2 hours for my own piece of mind. The 2 hour mark has a weird mental power for me – it represents the mark where I was finally able to tell myself that I had managed to get back into running again properly. I broke back under 2 hours at the 2013 WPS Half marathon and haven’t raced a half slower than 2 hours since and it would have been a tough hit mentally if I had that happen today.

But I still couldn’t figure out what my pace should be.

On top of the illness my right knee (which I have had trouble with off and on since high school) was aching pretty fierce on Friday. It was fine yesterday and didn’t give me any issues running with the family in the Run at the Ridge 2k but it was worrisome enough that I was tempted to wear my knee brace to be safe. In the end I left the brace at home but it was something I knew I needed to be conscious of.

While I was contemplating, I fired out a tweet about my indecision and got some encouragement back from Bill from Florida (@rilla6969 on twitter and blogging over at rillaruns.wordpress.com). I met up with Bill a couple times back at the Dopey Challenge in January and he is always ready to give encouragement. Encouragement…shove…whatever you want to call it.

So with the clock ticking down before the start, I decided I would see what happened on the first mile and then try a solid push and try to stay over 7 mph for as long as I could and if it fell apart then at least I would have a buffer to make sure I was under 2 hours.

And we were off! Accompanied by a flyover from a Canadian Forces hercules (I think)!

A bit congested at the start but nothing to rival Disney so I was able to cope. First mile finished in 8:28 and I felt not too bad – definitely took longer to get my breathing right but I settled in decently enough to try a little faster.

Mile 2 – much faster and less congested – 8:09

Mile 3 – shin splints in my left leg? What the hell? I haven’t had shin splints in years – I was pissed about that! The anger must have changed my form a bit because they disappeared after a few steps and never came back the rest of the race. Decent pace for the mile – 8:12

Mile 4 – this mile includes a 180 that you have to slow down for – not too bad but something to watch for. 8:15

Mile 5 – right knee made its presence known. Not bad but it let me know it didn’t like the steep incline up to a bridge over a river. This became a common theme for the knee – it was fine except on inclines. And it never really hurt, just an ache and a reminder if I did anything stupid it would call me on it.

During mile 5 I stopped for my first fuel break and walked a bit but still got 8:52 for the mile so not awful.

Mile 6 – 8:27 – slowing down a bit but still ok – 8:27

These first 6 miles included a lot of me repeating to myself “these are only mental barriers, they are not physical barriers. Keep pushing”. Starting around mile 7 I was starting to hit actual physical barriers though.

Mile 7 – 8:48 – definitely slowing down. Endurance was just not there for the speeds I had in the first half of the race. I hit the half way point of the race at around the 55 minute mark so I knew sub 2 hour should be there, which was a relief but I could tell even at this point it was not going to be easy, I was going to have to work for it. Wind seemed to pick up a bit along this stretch as well and the area is pretty exposed, and of course we were running right into it! That sapped a bit of energy as did the rolling inclines of the road in this area. Neither the wind or the inclines were really that bad but I was hitting the limits of my recent training runs and felt them harder than I should have.

Mile 8 – 8:48 – steady at least. Still feeling pretty strong.

Mile 9 – 9:01 but including my 2nd fuel stop / walk – so pace was pretty solid still. Lots of corners to slow you down on this mile though (2 180s and 2 90s).

Mile 10 – 9:28 – now back on the same road as mile 7 and the wind was maybe even stronger. Either that or I was sucking wind pretty bad (could be both actually).

Mile 11 – 9:22 – again slower than the first half of the race but feeling a bit stronger again since we weren’t so exposed any more.  We were also heading back toward the finish line now and into the sun – that always helps the mental attitude.

Mile 12 – 9:35 – 3rd and final fueling walk – so my pace was actually picking back up.

Mile 13 – 8:59 – stronger pace again – back in the park with cheering crowds and good scenery.

And finished the last 0.1 miles in 0:49 – a solid, strong push to the finish line avoiding the desire to sprint and maybe hurt myself.

Final time 1:55:15. Sub-2hours achieved and my mental state saved!

Got my medal and this year’s gift – finisher socks! Kind of unique. The WPS Half always gives out some kind of finisher gift – I have previously gotten a sling bag, a bib belt and running beanie. Both the belt and beanie get used quite frequently. I’m not sure about the socks but I will give them a go and see how they work for me.

I hung out around the finish line for a bit and went to wander back to find my vehicle when I got stopped by someone calling my name. It was Trevor, a gentleman who works for the same company I do and in the same building. We had a quick chat and he mentioned that he found my blog a while back and that he had been reading along. Cool! My readership isn’t very big and I didn’t think anyone local followed along – nice to know that there is someone – it help keep me honest! It did come as a bit of a shock because I didn’t think anyone around the office knew about the blog but still very cool!

Trevor – congrats again on strong sub-2 hour! Awesome work!

So after a quick chat, I continued my wander back to the vehicle and headed on home.

Now that I have had a bit of time to think and review how I did, I have come up with some thoughts on how to get my mojo back:

  1. Get the mileage back up – that one sounds simple but my mileage was decimated in early April and I am going to have to focus to get my running back and to rebuild my endurance. No slacking.
  2. Mid-week medium long runs – these are my 8-10 mile runs usually done on the treadmill on Wednesday nights. I don’t do speed work on these runs but I do push strong, even paces…kind of like you need for half marathons? Even before the illness, I was missing an unusual number of these runs because we have 2 different activities for the kids those nights and I have to start running pretty late to get the miles in. So these runs ended up being easy to ditch. No more! I have realized these runs are crucial to keep sustained speed up past about the hour mark – you can see me crashing out around the 8-9 mile mark and missing these runs is one of the reasons!
  3. Sign up for the Manitoba Marathon – 7 weeks away – my intention was to wait to see how close I got to PR today and if I was really close I would train speed like a demon and make the PR happen at the half during the Manitoba Marathon event. After the run today, I believe I need the pressure of a full coming up to drive me to put in the miles properly. Basically I will train to get my miles back up and try for a good showing in June at the full and then train hard through the summer. In the fall there are several good half marathons in the city and I will make a PR attempt again then. I also have the 12 hour Lemming Loop coming up at the beginning of October so I need to start rebuilding my base now.
  4. Sort out my diet and weight – to put it simply I have gained about 5 pounds in the past couple months. Some of that could be contributed to being ill but the big part of it was I have been eating to run 50+ miles a week, and I haven’t been anywhere near that. So time to focus hard on that again. Goal – back down to 215 for the Manitoba Marathon.
  5. Use the pool wisely – we have our backyard pool open now and I am going to have to use it for additional endurance training and resistance exercises. This will help the weight loss but also help rebuild endurance. Still have to decide how best to do this but I will come up with a plan in the next few days.
  6. My right knee – my bloody right knee, it keeps coming back to haunt me. I need to strengthen it again. The additional miles will help, as long as I ramp those miles up in a smart way. But I think I also need to do some resistance exercises to – so squats and lunges need to come in and hopefully I can figure out something in the pool too.

Those mostly sound like negatives so I throw in a positive too – I was able to drive myself mentally – I pushed through some crap and kept going. That hasn’t been lost. Good!

So that looks like way more words than necessary to describe 2 hours of running, but there you go.

Once again, thanks to the coordinators and volunteers today! The work is appreciated.

3.5 miles in 29:44 tonight. First day in 2 weeks my head has felt clear. Still lots of work to do to get strong again.

First off – congrats to all that managed to get into the early entries for the 2016 Disney World Marathon! I envy you all. I have gone a total of 6 times (the last 4 in a row) and would love to go and do my beloved Goofy Challenge again but it isn’t in the cards this year.

So now my health. As I mentioned in my last post, I have been having some health issues out of nowhere and I have been feeling pretty awful. Today was the first day in 2 weeks that I felt like I could think clearly and didn’t need to take anything for headaches. It appears I had a toxicity issue with black licorice and my system went wonky and my potassium levels crashed hard. This led to some major swelling and weight gain – a total of 14 pounds gained in under 10 days. Over the past 2 weeks I have tried to run twice – once early on where I got in 3 miles in about a half hour and then once on this past Sunday. About a minute into that one I ended up walking to finish out 3 miles in just under 45 minutes.

In that time I did get in some yard work and I seemed ok but with anything strenuous like climbing multiple sets of stairs, I felt pretty much destroyed.

But I started hammering back the potassium in the form of Gatorade, bananas, orange juice and supplements. This got me to the point where I felt mostly human yesterday and then today I was feeling pretty close to myself (in the head at least).

In the end I felt good enough to attempt a run and even though it was glorious outside I decided I better do it on the treadmill in case things went south really quickly.

I started out at 7 mph and felt a bit rough, so I backed it off to 6 mph for a minute to catch my breath and then pushed it up to 7 again. I took the 7 mph to the 15 minute mark with one more minute at 6 mph thrown in there. After that I was up to 7.2 / 7.3 mph with another minute at 6 mph near the 25 minute mark and then finished up the remaining time at 7.5 mph. This gave me a total of 3.5 miles in 29:44 with a 1% incline.

By the end of the run I felt pretty good and probably could have kept going if I backed the speed down. But I really didn’t want to push it too hard and maybe relapse a bit, so I counted the run as a victory and shut it down.

Now that I have showered, I still feel pretty good – I guess I am on the mend here but it will probably take some time to get back to normal! It should be interesting to see how things go with my next race coming up on May 3rd (the WPS Half Marathon).

On a side note, I have now dropped 5 of the 14 pound weight spike over the last day and a half. I am hoping that most of the rest of the spike is gone by the end of the weekend!